Fishing in Wisconsin

Last updated on July 3rd, 2021 at 10:48 am. Originally published on June 30th, 2021

Known as America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin has tons to offer visitors who want to hike, camp and fish. Fishing is an especially popular activity in this great state since lakes and rivers large and small are everywhere, not to mention Lake Michigan bordering Wisconsin to the east and Lake Superior to the north. There are tons of good fishing spots to pick from, and what’s unique about Wisconsin’s fishing laws is that the sport is permitted all year. All you need to get in on the action is a valid state fishing license though it is not required for those born before 1927 or those 15 and under. Besides fishing, Wisconsin also offers a wonderfully comfortable summer climate and lots of cultural attractions.

A man stands on a boat in the middle of a calm lake, as fog lifts from the surface of the water. The lake is surrounded by autumn-colored trees.

Fishing Spots in Wisconsin

Sturgeon Bay

Set right on the coast of Lake Michigan, Sturgeon Bay is a small town full of fishing opportunities for those wondering where to fish in Wisconsin. Since this great lake is open for fishing 365 days a year, you can catch anything from rock bass to largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, catfish, carp, bullheads, gobies, white perch, white bass, and sheepshead. Sturgeon Bay is also near Potawatomi State Park and is home to cultural attractions such as the Door County Historical Museum, the Door County Maritime Museum, and the Miller Art Museum. 

Green Bay

Home of Wisconsin’s NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, you can come to Green Bay to catch a football game during the fall or take a tour of the stadium any time of the year. Fishing and camping are also very popular in Green Bay, and you can stay at one of many campgrounds, such as Baileys Grove Campground, which is located minutes from Lake Michigan and provides a fish cleaning station. Green Bay is also a moderately large city with a small-town feel, and you can shop at large chain retailers as well as small business stores.

Lake Winnebago

For those interested in ice fishing, Lake Winnebago in the winter months is the place to go. This lake is the largest body of water in the state of Wisconsin, and it’s fairly shallow, so it freezes fast and stays frozen over well through late fall to early spring. Here, you can fish for pike, bass, crappie, perch, and sturgeon, and several campgrounds can be found in nearby Appleton. This city is close to the lake and home to lots of shopping centers and the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, where Broadway shows are performed.

Madeline Island

The Apostle Islands in Northern Wisconsin are full of breath-taking views, perfect for a camping vacation. Madeline Island is the largest of all, home to Big Bay State Park, where you can camp, fish and hike during the summer months when the climate is warmest. Since it is located on Lake Superior, you may find some interesting fish different than those found in Lake Michigan, such as lake trout, lake whitefish, muskellunge, walleye, Atlantic salmon, brown trout, carp, chinook salmon, and coho salmon. 


For those who enjoy big cities as much as camping, Milwaukee is a great place to visit if you also want to fish. This city may be metropolitan in size, but it still offers nearby campgrounds and even fishing charters, like Milwaukee Offshore Fishing Charters. There’s always something to do in Milwaukee, such as attending the Summerfest music festival in September each year. 

Where to Fish in Wisconsin

There are tons of good fishing spots in America’s Dairyland. Aside from the shores of the two Great Lakes, there are countless inland lakes and rivers that are stocked with fish by the state every spring. Perhaps some of the best places for fishing and camping in Wisconsin are in smaller towns where the hatcheries are located, like the Timber Court Fish Hatchery in West Bend, or scenic places, like the city of Chippewa Falls on the Chippewa River.

Camping and Fishing in Wisconsin

To get ready for a trip fishing Wisconsin’s many lakes and rivers, make sure you pack all the essentials you’ll need for both camping and fishing. As for camping supplies, check that you have enough clothing, food, blankets, soap, bug spray, sunscreen, towels, medication, umbrellas, maps, books, and even games, just to name the basics. For fishing, you’ll need to have fishing poles and rods, fishing line, bait, a tackle box, a bucket, a cooler, and a net as well as personal items like snacks, jackets, boots, waders, water, and hand sanitizer.

Once you’re packed up to go, be sure to call campgrounds ahead of time to make reservations and ask about what sites are available for your type of RV. It’s also a good idea to ask if water and electricity will be available at the campgrounds you plan to visit. If not, add water bottles/jugs and plenty of batteries to your packing list. As for fishing, you can purchase a fishing license from a sales location once you are in the state, or you can plan ahead by ordering one online. Just remember that extra fees apply to out-of-state buyers.

And before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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